Thierry Henry urges football’s ‘big guns’ to address Qatar’s human rights record

Former France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has called on football’s “big guns” to address the controversy over Qatar’s human rights record.

Players of Germany, Holland and Norway’s national teams wore t-shirts before last week’s qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in protest against conditions of migrant workers who are helping build infrastructure in the country.

Norway and Germany will not face disciplinary action for their protests and although former World Cup winner Henry applauded players for standing up for change, he demanded more information from football’s governing bodies.

“First and foremost, let me talk about what the players did and the federation did, that was great. It was great I thought what they did, because they’re taking a stand and I think football also can be that,” Henry told BBC’s Newsnight.

“Those players need to realise that they have a voice and they can change a lot of stuff. Now, is it right that the World Cup is there (in Qatar)? I want to know from the big guns. Come out and explain what’s happening.

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“And also I don’t know if you saw, they say they will not take action against those teams that did that because you can’t take action.

“What they did is great, it’s a great gesture for everybody. Can you come up and explain? Show your face and talk to us and let’s have a discussion about it.”

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The former Arsenal and Barcelona forward was non-committal when asked if national teams should boycott the competition, but hinted he believed it will go ahead as planned.

He added: “They have already started the qualifiers, so they’d played after what they did. It looks like they are going to play the qualifications.”

PA

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